WordPress Watch:

Minimum PHP version requirement, WP 5.2 Beta 1 and Gutenberg 5.3

We’re getting ready for another big improvement for our favorite CMS. Today, I’d like to share with you the release of Gutenberg version 5.3 as well as the first Beta for WordPress 5.2. And, some exciting news on the minimum PHP version requirement for WordPress.

Gutenberg 5.3

We’ve seen the release of Gutenberg 5.3 this last week and this version is an extra interesting one. Gutenberg 5.3 will be included in the upcoming WordPress 5.2 release. The three interesting features that stand out in this release are the following:

  • Gutenberg 5.3 introduces a block management modal which allows you to enable/disable blocks from the block inserter.
  • We also get the possibility to nest different kinds of blocks in a Cover Block container. Allowing for more interesting uses of the Cover Block block.
  • Lastly, there are many improvements to the hover and selected block states, with better a11y and less distraction.

But, that’s not all. There’s a lot more added to Gutenberg 5.3 and you can read all about it in the release post.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 1

WordPress 5.2 saw its first Beta last week, by the way. So, if you’re developing plugins and themes, now would be a good moment to start testing them against the 5.2 Beta 1.

Remember the recovery mode component intended for fixing fatal errors that ended up not making it in 5.1? Well, there’s good news about the project. As Felix Arntz’ tweet indicated last week:

The project team working on this feature have had to completely reimagine the solution. So, it may have taken a lot more time than intended, but we’re ending with a much more robust solution. A solution that’s going to save a LOT of headaches.

Bump in minimum PHP version for WordPress! Yay!

There have been years of debate about the minimum version for WordPress, but it’s finally happening. The PHP minimum version bump was finally committed – see this Trac ticket for more information. The minimum required PHP version is 5.6. This means we can finally start working towards using modern implementations of PHP, like Namespaces, for WordPress.

Subtle but important change with setting up a WordPress.com site

One of the things that never looked good when setting up a site over at WordPress.com was the default wordpress.com subdomain you would get. It doesn’t really cover the intent whatsoever in my opinion. I also wouldn’t mind their identity being less confusing towards WordPress.org sites.

Anyway, I was very happy to see the default URL for a new site changed to subdomain.home.blog. They own the .blog TLD so it makes perfect sense to start using it. I like how WordPress.com is constantly changing and improving the experience. Maybe I was right with this blog post over at WP Realm 🤷🏼‍♂️.

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13 Responses to Minimum PHP version requirement, WP 5.2 Beta 1 and Gutenberg 5.3

  1. Bill Bennett
    Bill Bennett  • 7 months ago

    This is a timely post. My managed service provider, Pressable, is upgrading to PHP 7.2 on April 2.

    There’s a test to show which add-ons and plug-ins will cope with 7.2.

    The only one that doesn’t is… Yoast SEO… so what’s your timeline on this?

    • Remkus de Vries

      We’ve been compatible with PHP 7.2, and 7.3 for that matter, since its release, so you’re good to go from our end.

  2. ShelleyRae O'Connor
    ShelleyRae O'Connor  • 7 months ago

    Google is dropping rank on PHP less than 7.2.
    The reason: PHP levels below 7.2 are no longer being supported or patched for security. Doesn’t it seem off that WordPress is still encouraging the use of known security risk and unsupported infrastructure?

    Is WordPress setting up to be the next Pinterest?

    • Remkus de Vries

      Google is almost certainly not (and in many places, can’t) assessing and making ranking decisions based on PHP versions.

      WordPress is, in fact, actively encouraging the use of PHP version 7.3 or greater on its requirement page at this time.

  3. Marco Floriano
    Marco Floriano  • 7 months ago

    Nice improvements. Gutenberg getting stronger and stronger. The php 5.6 requirement is a good thing, but many old sites, plugins and themes will have a hard time.

    • Remkus de Vries

      I’m sure there will be plugins and themes out there that will have a hard time, for sure. But, if they haven’t updated their code to modern standards just yet they are most likely in need of an actual incentive to do so. Even PHP 5.6 has been End of Life for years already. WordPress bumping the minimum requirement might just be that incentive.

      Either way, it’s a good thing this is finally happening. It might get messy here and there, but in the end, it’s a good thing. A faster, more secure and modern future awaits us!

  4. RazaKazmii
    RazaKazmii  • 7 months ago

    Well, I’m glad with the two major updates which are – Recovery Mode & PHP Minimum Version. There have been many times when I faced fatal error on my wordpress sites and spent a huge chunk of time googling for its solution. However, with the recovery mode, I will still be able to access websites.

    Secondly, with the minimum php version of 5.6, I’ll be able to install many things which require the updated or latest version of php.

    • Remkus de Vries

      Yeah, the recovery mode is pretty sweet, huh? :)

  5. Kingsley Felix
    Kingsley Felix  • 7 months ago

    when will be the importer be updated to version 2? there are updated version made by humanmade on github

    • Remkus de Vries

      I’m not exactly what you’re referring to, sorry.

  6. Aishwarya Nair
    Aishwarya Nair  • 7 months ago

    Actually, I am an internet marketer running our own training and HR services. We find Yoast SEO really helpful for our online marketing needs. Do you guys also offer SEO services?

    • Remkus de Vries

      None other than our plugins and courses.

      • Rahim saifi
        Rahim saifi  • 7 months ago

        Yes I agree with you .